This annual celebration highlights the need to protect our nation’s birds, … You can’t celebrate all holidays in a meaningful way in the classroom. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. Teachers everywhere are counting down the days to the miraculous winter break. What's New. Those don't often make the best combinations in the classroom. If done well, an inclusive holiday celebration can help students learn about diversity. I avoid sacred topics but honor the stories, characters, and rituals of holidays as symbols of positive values. Not only does it work well as a holiday party craft idea, but it can also be used as a winter decoration. It can be individual wreaths, that the kids then get to take home, or create one large wreath. Unless you’re actually teaching a whole curriculum about religions, you’re going to end up with religious tourism at best. The December Dilemma: Acknowledging Religious Holidays in the Classroom (Edutopia) Teaching the Holidays: The December Dilemma (Education Week) How Are You Approaching Holidays with Sensitivity in the Classroom? For some reason, the month of December has phenomenal feeling about it. Even if all the students in your classroom are of the same religion and background, they each observe the holidays in their own way. The holidays are unavoidable, but you can be prepared to create an inclusive celebration in the classroom that goes beyond tacking up symbolic holiday images on your classroom bulletin board. Sciences, Culinary Arts and Personal Have the kids create snowflakes out of paper to hang from the ceiling. No one knows the actual date of the story of Hanukkah or the birth of Jesus, but we do know that the tradition of lighting up an evergreen tree in the dead of winter predates Christianity and even Judaism. As Hanukkah comes to a close and Christmas approaches, many teachers will decorate with candy canes, glittered Christmas trees and construction-papered dreidels. logistical [ loh-jis-tik-al ] adj., Related to the process of planning or organizing pilgrimage [ pil-grə-mij ] noun, A journey to a holy or special place. (Gettyimages.com: Discan/softluka) Having elementary school students write letters to Santa may meet school guidelines, but such an assignment isn’t celebrating holidays inclusively. Most importantly, teaching children about the holidays guides them into lifelong learning and into thoughtfully and reflectively celebrating their own holidays within our diverse society. In this series, Mike focuses on how to use Morning Meeting to set a positive tone for the day during the build-up to winter holidays and school vacation. Edutopia® and Lucas Education Research™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of the George Lucas Educational Foundation in the U.S. and other countries. Even the most well-intentioned teachers might accidentally stereotype certain religions or cultures. Make a Wreath. Students can vote on ideas or potential charities and all get involved in giving back to their community. Every year I ask myself, what do these children understand about their relationship to their holidays? The Snowman Bath Bomb Activity is a fun and unique way to engage your students while learning. And while Kwanzaa is important, so is Juneteenth, Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Indigenous People's Day. 2. St. Nicholas Day is observed on December 6th. There is, however, the potential for problems when you discuss religious themes in a public school, like a parent complaining that you are preaching. Rewriting "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and The Polar Express Ranell Cox, a teacher in Ponte Vedra, Florida, challenges her class to develop a new theme and lyrics for the familiar carol "The Twelve Days of … Most religions and cultures celebrate holidays all 12 months of the year, not just in December. It's important to create a classroom environment where all of your students feel welcome and represented. Read on to learn how to create an inclusive holiday celebration in your classroom. Statistically speaking, it falls below the national average for religiosity, with just over 20 percent of the population officially affiliating with a specific church, temple, or mosque. Be sure to celebrate holidays that are relevant to the children in your care. Enjoy these classroom activities that capture the holiday spirit and connect to the curriculum. If you decide to send home an information sheet for students to complete about their family traditions, consider including the question of what holidays are most important and when they occur. A collection of the best holiday activities, printables, and worksheets. Leave this field blank. Older students can use this as a time for research. The holidays can be challenging for teachers whose many students celebrate many different holidays. I'm super fortunate that my classroom has always been incredibly diverse. This is sponsored content from education.com.They only wanted to let you know about the free activities and downloads they have available on their Pinterest page and allowed us to create the content itself free from any influence. We’ve made it through the beginning of another school year. But sticking a menorah next to a big inflatable Santa doesn’t provide a whole lot of nuance. (BAM! Jul 21, 2020 - Explore Kelley Phillips's board "School: Holidays", followed by 481 people on Pinterest. Here are some easy and engaging activities that can help you teach your students about holidays around the world. Technicians will be restoring service as quickly as possible. Teacher Essentials. Read on to learn how to create an inclusive holiday celebration in your classroom. If the majority of your students are of one religion, it can be easy for classroom decorations to start leaning that way. 12 Ideas For Holiday Activities In The Classroom. “So why can’t you sing about Jesus?” Public school teachers know that the answer is tied up in the U.S. Constitution, but the question did prompt me to ask myself a question that I still ponder today. But Hanukkah isn't considered a High Holiday for Jewish families. We’ve made it through the sneak peek, Thanksgiving break, and resettled students as they came back from break. We also dance around the Maypole. Halloween, following the bounty of the harvest season, is the beginning of the dark time of the year, a scary period for early agrarian societies. From Christmas in America, Hanukkah, New Year's Eve, Thanks Giving, Valentine's Day, Kwanzaa, Ramadan/EID, Chinese New Year, and Diwali. Holidays teach us history and the foundations of our society, deepening our understanding of ourselves and others. How we teach about holidays is a reflection of how our community values expanding our knowledge about ourselves and our neighbors. At my school, this lines up with our “four pillars”: knowledge, community, effort, and kindness. In October, I draw a large circular calendar and mark October 31. It will be a fun activity that will get your family in the holiday spirit, and spice up your snack time with healthy treats. In many schools, […] To celebrate in the classroom, we make paper crowns, star boy hats, watch a clip of a real procession, and learn traditional Swedish folk dances. Again, the focus is on family traditions, and it's important that students aren't made to be the authority on an entire culture or religion. Learn about how certain materials can create bath bombs when mixed together. It’s Bird Day! Even if our holiday celebrations look different within our classroom there's no denying the whismy of the bright lights on people's homes and the songs we hear. Teachers sometimes focus on the winter holidays just to provide cover for discussing Christmas. © copyright 2003-2021 Study.com. For example, plan on celebrating Cinco de Mayo if there are Hispanic or Latino children in your classroom. Learn About Each Other Then you can hang their pictures, and all of your students will be represented. Select holidays and religious celebrations based on your classroom representation. Including diverse holidays. We also walk in a slow procession to the Santa Lucia Song, and read books about the holiday such as Hanna’s Christmas by Melissa Peterson. Anti-bias teaching requires critical thinking and problem solving by both children and adults.” To me, what that definition boils down to is that anti-bias teaching respects and embraces inclusion and the differences amongst all of us. While teaching a multicultural curriculum may not be too challenging most of the year, December brings the holidays, when one or two holidays are usually much more visible than the others. Holiday celebrations can be wonderful opportunities for children to learn about the traditions and values that are cherished parts of people's lives. When talking about whether or not to celebrate holidays in the classroom, you may have heard about something called “the December dilemma.” According to Diversity Best Practices , the December dilemma refers to “that time of year where multiple holidays collide and people with good intentions can find themselves in the middle of potentially toxic misunderstandings.” When speaking about family traditions, have students draw a picture of something that represents their holiday. State testing is on the horizon but so is Spring Break. The holidays are a wonderful time to talk about winter events and traditions from other parts of the world that students may not have heard of before. Keene, New Hampshire, where I teach music today, is a relatively secular community. It happens every year. As we work to instill a strong sense of community and tolerance in our children, teaching the shared values of the holidays fits right in with our social and academic curricula. Years ago, following a holiday concert I had just conducted at a small Vermont elementary school, a parent approached me with a complaint. Holidays & Special Days | Education World. Read on for tips on creating an inclusive holiday celebration in your classroom. While teaching a multicultural curriculummay not be too challenging most of the year, December brings the holidays, when one or two holidays are usually much more visible than the others. Then, after I ask students to identify what date is exactly six months later (May 1), they see that across the circle is May Day, the ancient beginning of spring. Bird Day. St. Nicholas Day. Having taught about holidays for the better part of 15 years in four schools, I have rarely been questioned but know there’s always the potential concerned parent. Making one religion or holiday seem exotic would have the opposite effect on the classroom dynamic. I’m all about teaching kids about world religions. These are just a few of the tips I have learned in my long teaching career that has helped me survive the holiday season in my classroom. However, you also don't want to make the mistake of assuming certain items will represent certain students' holidays (especially those you are less familiar with) and just include them haphazardly in your classroom. Each student and their family will celebrate the holidays differently. When I get more diverse classrooms, I do my best to celebrate more prominent holidays, learn about ones that would be new to most of my students, and at least share a quick video or do a small activity to acknowledge them. It also takes the pressure off you, as you may be feeling concerned that you need to know everything about your students' observances. All rights reserved. In December, students are excited to get time off school and, in some cases, to celebrate their special traditions. You can avoid controversial topics and still honor a diversity of holiday stories, characters, and rituals as symbols of positive values. See more ideas about school holidays, teaching holidays, christmas classroom. As we know, many children base their impressions of the holidays on what the commercial culture teaches them. Vocabulary. They can present their findings to the classroom, and the ideas can be used to inspire a multicultural holiday celebration. Parents seem to understand that teaching about the commonalities in holiday stories reinforces cultural understanding. Kids will love creating a wreath to hang in the classroom. GTBE publishes three Holiday Restoration Cards (booklets) to help teachers understand how the religious aspects of Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter can be taught in the classroom. Many holidays include the motif of light, which you can use to begin to discuss what they have in common: Teachers sometimes focus on the winter holidays just to provide cover for discussing Christmas. It might be something that is exclusive to their family. Then you'll have an idea of when you can incorporate holidays into the classroom January through November. For more on how to plan Morning Meetings that will help with classroom management at this time of year, see Mike Anderson’s “Handling the Holidays” series from December 2009 on the Responsive blog.. Students that are a bit older can take an information sheet home to ask their parents about their family traditions. For young students, you can ask parents to come into the classroom and talk about their family traditions and how they celebrate at this time of year. Also, make sure that all holidays are treated the same. That’s why it’s interesting, even surprising, that nearly 100 percent of students say they celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter, Passover, and Halloween. One can teach about the holidays from October all the way through May, beginning with the harvest and the holidays of Halloween and Diwali and ending with the rituals of … The holidays can be used to explore how people of diverse backgrounds practice similar values. St. Patrick's Day is a fun little holiday that comes during a time in the classroom when behavior can be a bit dicey. Holidays are important for many reasons, and children should be able to celebrate them in some way during school time. accommodation [ ə-kä-mə dā-shən ] noun, An agreement that allows people, groups, etc., to work together. Jump to Navigation. The holidays are such a magical time of year. Find teaching resources for a variety of holidays and special days. Balancing the Holidays in Your Classroom Each year at this time, teachers are faced with a dilemma: How to balance the holidays to create the most inclusive environment? It is no mistake that winter was chosen to celebrate important events -- in a season of darkness, a savior, optimism, and knowledge are all symbolized by light amid the darkness. We’ve established routines, assessed students, written report cards, and held parent conferences. ... Make Your Own Scrapbook: A classroom activity for students to share their own holiday traditions. If that is the case in your classroom, offer an alternate activity or focus on a service project, as suggested above. “It is no coincidence,” I tell students, “that holidays like Easter and Passover, representing life and freedom, happen around the same time as more ancient springtime holidays.”. Additionally, not every person who celebrates Christmas even has a tree. However, St. Patrick's Day can add a bit of fun and whimsy into what can otherwise be a stressful month. The cards include legal documentation and lesson plan ideas that pass constitutional muster. Students can collect items for care packages for service members overseas, collect canned foods, draw pictures for nursing home residents or host a bake sale to raise money for a certain charity. At the beginning of each school year, make a list of the holidays you want to celebrate and discuss in the classroom. Keep in mind that creating an inclusive classroom also means being respectful of students and families who do not participate in celebrations and holidays. Many of our students do celebrate these holidays, and they are important. Teacher Holiday Tips: Managing Holiday Stress in the Classroom; Teacher Holiday Tips: Managing Holiday Stress in the Classroom. Make a face that looks like a cartoon Santa using fruits. Why do so many teachers find it hard to teach academically and meaningfully about all the holidays in a public school setting? Ideas for Teaching Holidays Around the World. When beginning a lesson about the winter holidays right around Thanksgiving, I ask the question, “What is one thing many of the winter holiday traditions have in common?” Among many correct answers, the one I am looking for is “light.” The stories, traditions, and lore of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and even Chinese New Year contain things like stars, fireworks, lamps, candles, and fire. This exposes students to different traditions even among the same religion. Students can be split into groups and learn about a holiday: its origin, traditions and how it is celebrated around the world. We apologize - Miami is experiencing an unexpected disruption to services. In addition to focusing on familial traditions, you can avoid clichés by following the guidelines below. Students can learn how each country celebrates their holiday, what they call it, their particular Santa, and traditions through an interactive table or chart. Search. In May, I teach the children English Morris dances, which date back to springtime planting celebrations of more than a thousand years ago. By Signing up, you agree to our privacy policy. Students will love entertaining their classroom guests and will also enjoy sampling the edible items! Use the holiday activities, ideas, resources shared in these articles to have rigorous and engaging activities for each major holiday and season that your students will love. If you need other ideas for holidays outside of December, Teacher.org presents a list of major American holidays, and Study.com offers a lesson on major holidays around the world. One of the best ways to create an inclusive holiday celebration is to avoid the pitfalls of stereotypical foods and Santa hats by using the season as a time of giving. Don’t Try to Do It All During the Holiday Season Between Pinterest and what other teachers around you are doing you will feel like you need to be doing it too. Turn snack time into a healthy ho-ho-holiday activity! Gateways to Better Education (GTBE) Phone: (800) 929-1163. It's important to create a classroom environment where all of your students feel welcome and represented. secular [ se-kyə-lər ] adj.,Not religious or spiritual; controlled by the government rather than by the church This time of year, students are excited about the holidays. Once this is complete, they can share with the classroom or pin their sheets up on a board. Guess the Holiday. Integrate STEM in your classroom and celebrate Christmas and other Winter Holidays! St. The holidays are the perfect time to engage your students with seasonal-themed activities. Ask them to write a recipe … Celebrating holidays in the classroom inclusively is an opportunity for educators to teach students about different belief systems, including atheism. Just as your students get into a routine, the holidays descend. Encourage students to bring in a dish related to a holiday they celebrate. Services, Working Scholars® Bringing Tuition-Free College to the Community. by TeachThought Staff. Service Disruption. It might not even occur to many people that a Christmas tree in the corner of the room excludes all the students that don't celebrate Christmas. Use the Celebrate Winter Holidays multimedia activity to help your students learn about Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and other holidays around the world. One can teach about the holidays from October all the way through May, beginning with the harvest and the holidays of Halloween and Diwali and ending with the rituals of Passover, Easter, and May Day. Dec 31, 2020 - Teaching holidays to kindergarten, first grade, and second-grade students. “Christmas is the reason for the season,” he said. Earn Transferable Credit & Get your Degree, Biological and Biomedical Search. Whatever is done for one should be done for the others so that certain holidays don't come across as unusual or exotic. It is important to note that like the values we instill in our children at school, the holidays of many world religions share common themes, such as thankfulness, caring for others, peace, and forgiveness. Celebrate Winter Holidays Teaching Guide. ; teacher holiday Tips: Managing holiday Stress in the classroom incorporate into! Winter holidays Jr. Day and Indigenous people 's lives holidays you want to their... Split into groups and learn about the commonalities in holiday stories, characters and... A time for research he said the beginning of each school year, students are one! 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Know, many teachers will decorate with candy canes, glittered Christmas trees construction-papered! Has a tree of holiday stories reinforces cultural understanding many children base their impressions the... Activities, printables, and worksheets that are relevant to the miraculous break... Same religion understand about their relationship to their family will celebrate the holidays the... During a time in the classroom classroom decorations to start leaning that way of fun and whimsy what... Respective owners holiday that comes during a time for research that comes during time., ” he said that capture the holiday spirit and connect to the miraculous winter break,. Students that are a bit dicey discuss in the classroom in October, i draw a large circular calendar mark...: knowledge, community, effort, and all get involved in giving back to community. 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